We are long time Seabourn cruisers recently off a 16 day cruise on Quest. Last year on an 18 day trip on Ovation we noticed many changes, not for the good. This trip, it’s clear the product has sunk far below what it once was.
1. Dinner Service in the Restaurant/Colonnade. Three dinners where we casually appeared between 7:30 and 8:30. Result: At least a half hour between courses. Water and wine filled once and never again. This situation was a topic of discussion around the ship and some had figured out that if you go right when they open, you will have decent service. So for all the next dinners we raced to get in line before 7 so that we could have a decent dinner. Many times the line at 6:50 snaked to the back of the ship.
2. Service in the Observation Bar. This was a cold trip so the Sky Bar and Patio Bar were useless. The Observation Bar was the only bar open before 6:30 P.M. and since we had to be in line before 7 P.M. to get a decent dinner, you had to be in the Observation Bar for a pre-dinner drink. It was packed. People would get there at 5:30 and put clothing on seats. At 6:15 there would be massive groups circling for a seat. And getting a refill or second drink - forget it. We, and many others, asked for the Club to open early. It never did. So now if you wanted to be at the Observation Bar you had to rush to get up there by 5:30/5:45 or you weren’t getting in. Now we are rushing to get a drink and rushing to get dinner
3. Service in Housekeeping. Hand towels missing, called Guest Services, called Housekeeping, three days later hand towels. Same with bath towels and a bath mat on different occasions. One night came back from a show, took a shower and did not notice until exiting the shower – no bath towels. Loved drying my long hair with a hand towel. They have taken away bottled water in the room and now have a jug. But that only works when you have glasses which we had only twice.
4. I could go on including waiting for tables at breakfast because there were no clean ones. The major topic everywhere in the ship was complaints and horror stories about dinners and shore excursions and such. That old thing about “have dinner when you want with whom you want” is a joke. Our whole schedule was about getting to the Bar and one of the Restaurants when they opened so we could get a seat. Ugly. They have removed the good champagne and replaced it with a very poor version. The Patio Grill buffet at lunch is half what it was. The great cranberry nut cookies they used to have on all ships are no more because “cranberries are too expensive”. This is not a luxury experience anymore.
5. We spoke to many staff about what had happened and the answer was they have gone from the former ratio of 2 guests to one staff to three guests to one staff (150 crew on Quest versus the former 225). It shows.
I can’t imagine what would get us, long time Seabourn cruisers, back on board. Sorry to see Seabourn become what they have become.